A new species of Allorhogas (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Doryctinae) inducing ovule galls on Miconia chamissois Naudin, a potentially invasive shrub in the Brazilian cerrado.
Allorhogas Gahan (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a mainly Neotropical doryctine wasp genus whose species have been associated with 11 vascular plant families. All species of Allorhogas whose feeding habits are known are confirmed or presumed to be phytophagous, either by being gall inducers on seeds, seeds predators or by inquilinism of other gall former taxa. Here we describe a new species of Allorhogas from Brazil and assess its phylogenetic affinities using one mitochondrial (COI) and one nuclear (28S) marker. Different from other described species of Allorhogas that induce galls on fruits/seeds of Melastomataceae, the new species attacks floral bud ovules of Miconia chamissois Naudin (Melastomataceae), forming 'fruit-like' galls. We recovered a clade exclusively composed of species of Allorhogas that attack Melastomataceae species. The new species could potentially be used as a biological control of M. chamissois populations to prevent the imbalance of the plant diversity of cerrado, which is one of the most endangered biomes in Brazil.